Ammo Had "Fraudulent Permits," S. African Police Say, 8 Tons Stopped
Matthew Russell Lee
NATIONS, February 5 -- Police in South Africa are questioning whether
there was fraud involved in a shipment of eight tons of ammunition
headed to the a UN depot in the Congo. Contrary to UN statements to
the Press, South
African authorities have said, on February 5, that
"there is a lot more investigation that needs to be undertaken
regarding this ammunition, its destination and what appears to be
fraudulent permits that were presented to officials."
the UN, which
has committee charged with enforcing arms embargoes, to be charged
with the use of fraudulent permits and end user certificates is more
than a little ironic.
UN Spokesman Martin Nesirky on February 4:
City Press: There is a case in South Africa where eight tons of
ammunition have been seized by the Government… I mean, seized by
police. It is said they were ordered by the UN for use in Ivory
Coast, Liberia and Burundi. I guess what I’m wondering is, my
understanding was that contingents bring their own ammunition, that
the peacekeeping contingents from various nations that go to
peacekeeping bring their own ammo and are reimbursed by the UN. Can
you, either now or if you look into it, explain why the UN was
ordering eight tons of ammunition, how the order came about, and what
it would be used for?
Nesirky: Well, I think it’s obvious what ammunition is used for.
but not without controversy for the UN. In Haiti, the use of
gas, rubber bullets and even 50 caliber guns to control crowds in
search of food aid has been criticized even by the UN's own partners.
This ammunition is all lethal, no rubber bullets listed.
UN trains for VIP protection, questioned end
user certificates not shown
City Press: Why the UN itself was ordering instead of its own
mission, it’s own peacekeepers that usually bring their guns with
Nesirky's office sent the following to Inner City Press:
unspokesperson-donotreply [at] un.org
Fri, Feb 5, 2010
Your Question on Alleged Seizure of UN ammunition by South African
To: Inner City Press
not meant for Blue Helmets (Or Contingents) but for UN Security
Personnel in BINUB, ONUCI and UNMIL.
purchase was not meant for Blue Helmets (contingents), which are
coming to the field with their own arms and ammunition, but for UN
security personnel of three UN peacekeeping missions (BINUB, ONUCI
purchase was a standard solicitation completed with full cooperation
from the Permanent Mission of the Republic of South Africa. All
licenses and end user certification have been obtained, presented and
approved by proper authorities. The incident is now closed.
on February 5,
in South Africa reiterated that "there is a lot more
investigation that needs to be undertaken regarding this
its destination and what appears to be fraudulent permits that were
presented to officials."
as the UN is
appealing its own UN Dispute Tribunal's $20,000 judgment against
Under Secretary General Shaaban Shaaban, South African police are
appealing an order that was apparently won ex parte, without them
being present. We will continue to watch on this case, on which the
UN should provide updates given the dubious nature of its February 5
statement that "the incident is closed." Watch this site.
* * *
Nesirky Claims UN Pension Fund Not Part of UN, No Answers on Africa as
Even Questions Are Restricted
Matthew Russell Lee
NATIONS, February 5 -- "I don't think that's question that I
need to answer," UN Spokesman Martin Nesirky told the Press on
February 5. Inner City Press had asked about a UN Administrative
Tribunal decision in favor of former Secretary General Kofi Annan,
reversing the UN Pension Fund and awarded Annan two pensions, as a
staff member and as Secretary General. (Click here
for Inner City Press' February 4
exclusive report and link.)
like something for the Pension Fund to answer, not me," Nesirky
said, in what is becoming a trend two months into Nesirky's tenure.
Inner City Press explained that the Pension Fund claims its building
on Second Avenue is not open to the UN press corps.
answered your own question," Nesirky said. "It's not part
of the UN system." Video here,
from Minute 14:42.
decidedly is -- it has the
UN's immunity and Nesirky's boss Secretary
General Ban Ki-moon for example names a representative, currently
Warren Sach -- Inner City Press asked Nesirky to repeat and explain,
"the UN Pension Fund is not a part of the UN system?"
claimed that is not "a question I need to answer."
what or whose
questions does UN spokesman
Nesirky acknowledge that he "needs
to answer"? Also on February 5,
Inner City Press asked straight
about Darfur, for the UN's response to widely
reported fighting between rebel groups displacing 10,000 people in an
area in which the UN is charged with protecting civilians. Nesirky
said only, "Let me find out." Video here,
from Minute 14:17.
Press asked about UN
training of ex-rebels in Nigeria's restive Niger
Delta, Nesirky demanded to know how the article in the Guardian
newspaper of Nigeria was sourced, what UN official was named. Video
from Minute 27:23. Inner
City Press provided the information, in response to which Nesirky
again said, let's find out. Yeah, let's.
UN's Ban and his spokesman, number of
questions limited, many not answered
approach of Nesirky's predecessor Michele Montas, to answer less than
half of the questions posed. But even she rarely said, only one more
question, or, no more questions for you, as Nesirky increasingly does.
At first, Nesirky said he would answer
all questions, putting them on a list until they were answered. (Click here
for Inner City Press' first
month review of "NeSmirky"). But
repeated questions at the noon briefing about Somalia have yet to be
him in writing about nepotism reaching to the highest levels of the
UN have been entirely ignored. In response to a nepotism question
about Ivory Coast, he outsourced answering to the UN Mission there,
which provided an intentionally misleading answer. Nesirky, even when
shown the answer and then a contradicting acknowledgement, had
nothing to say.
is "not a question I need to answer," according to Mr.
Nesirky. Watch this site.